Looking towards a cheap gaming laptop

Hey all. I'm looking to get a replacement laptop with my tax return early next year.. My old laptop, a centrino core2duo gaming laptop had a heat sink failure. Even before then the 9800 GTS-M in it was horridly hot. I'm currently using a 2005 90nm HP 17" with an AMD Turion 64 1.8 GHz and 1.2 GB of ram. It stuggles even with this message board, nevermind anything fancier. I'm looking for portability and the ability to play MMO games:

1. What is your budget?
$400-600. exact amount will depend on the tax return value.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
14" - 16".. will consider a good deal on a 17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1366x 768 to 1600x900 in a 14.1 to 15.6" screen

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable, but game capable. I have a solid desktop.

5. How much battery life do you need?
4-6 hours would be nice.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
yes. Mostly MMO-style (CoX, World of Tanks, Star Wars), and RPGs like Fallout, Dragon Age, and 4X games like Civ II/IV/V. Usually at medium/default settings with no antialiasing. Super high quality is for the desktop...this is just for playability.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Just web browsing, word processing, and other basic tasks.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500GB would be nice, but I'm flexible on this.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
anywhere I can get a good deal.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD is all I need.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I've had good luck in the past with HP and Acer, but any good brand with a good rep and low price is fine.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I've thought about a Llano-based build, like some of the a4-3400 with HD6480 that run about $350-450, but don't know if that will be enough for my gaming needs. The primary purpose will be running games away from home, but it just needs to be playable. I would prefer a true quad core, but will take a dual core if budget restraints require it
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More about looking cheap gaming laptop
  1. Question: Why not repair that laptop? It can be a royal pain and lots of steps, but just buy a new HSF for that particular laptop online and replace it yourself. Or did the failure cause permanent damage? What do you plan to do with your old laptop?
  2. http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=32&name=Laptops-Notebooks#

    ^^I'm pretty sure with your needs any of these will suit. I've been told the new I3 and 5's out preform any previous generation laptop processors for significantly less than the i7.

    if in doubt check the bench

    Just make sure you do your homework on GPUs and cooling. You don't want to have a GPU bottle neck.

    Me personally I have a HP pavilion laptop with a core 2 duo t9400 2.53GZ 6mb L2 cache Geforce 9600M GT and it powers through games such as total war, world in conflict, civilization 4, and Dragon age. However the sumbitch over heats like crazy and I have to keep a desk fan on it while playing or it shuts off in a matter of minutes. SO my next laptop is going to be able to keep its self cool.

    You stated you wanted your computer for 2 years.. so if you buy through new egg you can get a warranty for that amount of time.
  3. phyco126 said:
    Question: Why not repair that laptop? It can be a royal pain and lots of steps, but just buy a new HSF for that particular laptop online and replace it yourself. Or did the failure cause permanent damage? What do you plan to do with your old laptop?

    The video card, which overheated badly from the beginning, is pretty much fried now, the old system will probly be junked, though if I get a same-resolution screen (15.6" 1366x768) I might save the LCD as a replacement for any new one.

    I was considering a A6-3400 w/ 6650 Refurb:



    which might be useful, but I will wait for april and see what happens to i3/i5 PCs when ivy bridge comes out. My only worry is the intel HD3000 just won't keep up with AMD HD6650
  4. Well, you could always sell the laptop. Take whatever you can get for it "as is" and then put that money towards the one you want to get (or allow you to increase your budget slightly and get a laptop with better options).

    By the way, the 6650 *should* blow the HD 3000 out of the water. Don't expect to play all games at high. Some will go fairly high, others you'll have to settle for low. However, if these benchmarks I'm looking at are correct, you should be able to game on medium settings for most games.
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